Former four-time Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel and double Olympic medal-winning sailor Erik Heil have teamed up with entrepreneur Thomas Riedel to announce the Germany SailGP Team.
Riedel is the owner of the team, while Vettel will join as a co-investor and have “an active role in the management and performance of the team”. Heil will be driving the boat for the team.
Germany is set to be the latest nation to join the global racing league, with its fourth season kicking off from June 16, 2023, with the United States Sail Grand Prix at Navy Pier, Chicago.
Former Red Bull senior marketing manager Tim Krieglstein will also join the Germany SailGP team as their CEO, while former New Zealand SailGP team coordinator Anne van der Wereld will join as Team Manager.
Thomas Riedel, Owner, Team Germany, said:
“As a company, we have always been able to not only understand formats but evolve them through technology and innovation. I see great potential in all directions with the Germany SailGP Team: sports, business and media. We believe that a great movement can emerge from this. In addition, we can credibly implement our concerns in terms of sustainability and diversity.
“That’s one of the reasons why I approached Sebastian [Vettel] as a trusted partner and knowledgeable technology and sustainability expert. Sebastian also knows how to win. So, he’s not just a co-owner of the Germany SailGP Team, but an equal partner who can help us succeed in everything we do. However we are aware that success is not something you can achieve in a few races, and it may take some time, but I believe we have the team to make sure it happens.”
Sebastian Vettel stated:
“I see a lot of potential as SailGP starts its fourth season and for the first time with a German team. Parallels between sailors and Formula 1 have long existed. The boats are fascinating and the speeds on the water are incredibly high. The races are exciting and I am happy to be close to them with a motivated group of young sailors. In addition, the series not only uses wind power, but also strives to set new standards in sustainability in sports.“
Tim Krieglstein, CEO, Germany SailGP Team, said;
“Today is a really exciting step in the team’s journey and we have pulled together an amazing team. But we are under no illusions that it will be easy and other world-class teams have paid a lesson when they entered SailGP. We will have to work our way up. That’s the goal. However, SailGP comprises the best athletes in our sport and personally I can’t wait to get racing.“
SailGP is an international sailing competition with a national-team model and has previously had nine teams representing Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland and the United States. The competition was founded in 2019, with its inaugural edition carried out in the same year.